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What is a reverse proxy server?

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    July 14, 2023 2:10 AM EDT

    What is a reverse proxy server?
    Reverse proxy servers are connection points that sit in front of web servers and work as gateways for the client requests. They are deployed to intercept these requests, forward them to web servers, and transmit the responses back to clients. Reverse proxies are distributed geo-strategically, with functionalities geared toward optimizing the performance, reliability and security posture of all web servers within a network.To get more news about change ip address, you can visit official website.

    How does reverse proxy differ from forward proxy?
    Both proxy types act as intermediaries between the client and the origin server. The difference is in their placement along the schematic of the network architecture, which in turn defines each proxy’s functionalities.

    When proxy servers sit in front of clients they are referred to as forward proxy servers. Their functions stem from shielding the identity of the client making requests and managing that client’s access to the internet. This could be useful, for example, when faced with government-imposed firewalls regarding parts of the Internet — the proxy’s IP may be used to circumvent such censorship.
    On the other hand, a reverse proxy server sits in front of a web server on which the application is running. From its positioning it can also act as a firewall, masking any website’s IP address, but its abilities go beyond just beefing up security. Reverse proxies can also work as a load balancer, efficiently distributing requests across servers in a given network; cache the content from the origin so that distance to responses is reduced and performance accelerated; and decrypt incoming requests/encrypt outgoing responses, which frees up computational resources of the origin servers.

    Caching is the ability of a network system to save copies of files in storage (cache) for easier retrieval in the future. Caches for web browsers often contain JavaScript and HTML files as well as media files like images and videos.

    When a distributed network of reverse proxy servers starts caching content from a web server, we refer to it as a content delivery network (CDN). A CDN’s purpose is to reduce latency and improve site performance, and the process goes like this:

    Mary lives in New York and visits a website hosted in Paris. The distance between Mary and the website server increases the latency and makes page loading annoyingly slow. If Mary is the first user from her region to visit the site, the caching server that proxies her request to Paris has an opportunity to save a copy of the website content to its cache.

    Peter also lives in New York and visits the website right after Mary. His user experience will be much better when visiting the website, because the biggest part of the content his browser will receive will be delivered via the NY proxy server with significantly reduced latency.

    Since the reverse proxy intercepts the request midway, it reduces the load on the origin server and other backend infrastructure. It also increases the speed of responses. In general, reverse proxies use caching to enhance content availability, even during web server downtimes.

    Load balancing
    Reverse proxy can also work as a load balancing tool to disburse specified amounts of network traffic to the application servers.

    Load balancing is crucial when handling increased user pools and unpredictable application workloads. For websites looking to scale, reverse proxies can help distribute the load to additional servers as traffic demand grows.

    Furthermore, load balancing prevents web servers from being overloaded, even during traffic surges. As a result, applications have more availability because their backend infrastructure components work consistently and smoothly.